Six Barcelona directors quit a...

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Six Barcelona directors quit after fallout with club president

Phil Egan
Phil Egan

12:24 10 Apr 2020


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Six directors at Barcelona have resigned from the board after criticising the way the club has handled the coronavirus and for their handling of a social media scandal.

Two of the Barca's four vice presidents, Emili Rousaud and Enrique Tombas, were among those to quit, joined by directors Silvio Elias, Josep Pont, Jordi Calsamiglia and Maria Texidor.

In a letter to fans, the directors singled out club president Josep Maria Bartomeu and expressed doubts about the board's ability to handle the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter, reported by La Vanguardia read: "We would like to communicate that the directors signed below have informed president Bartomeu of our decision to irrevocably resign our positions at the club.

"We have reached this point and see no way to reverse the ways business is managed at the club ahead of important challanges in the future and especially post-pandemic.

"We want to stress our disappointment over the unfortunate incident with social media accounts, known as "Barcagate" in the press.

"We ask that once the current audit is carried out by PwC we want to ensure the accountability will be handed to those it corresponds to.

"Lastly, although it's the least important thing, we want to thank the directors and express our gratitude to our colleagues on the board who have dedicated their energy and strength to the good of Barcelona Football Club. We would like to thank the executives and the employees of the club for your support and excellent work during this time. It has been our pleasure to serve our beloved Barca."

They asked Bartomeu to call presidential elections as soon as possible and criticised the club for hiring a third party, I3 Ventures, earlier this year to monitor social media coverage of Barca.

Bartomeu has denied claims that the club had paid the company to set up online accounts that allegedly wrote stories defending the president and damaging the image of some players and former players.

However, 13 Ventures no longer has a contract with the club and the firm also denied any wrongdoing.

Bartomeu, who has been in charge of the Spanish giants since July 2015, is unable to stand for re-election as he has served two terms.

Spain has suffered one of the worst outbreaks in the world, with 15,238 deaths and more than 150,000 cases.

Barcelona players, including club captain Lionel Messi, have taken an additional pay cut to guarantee non-playing staff will receive full salaries while football is on hold.


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